Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

These little Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers are easy, fun, and very inexpensive to make. They are perfect for any occasion!

I’ve been making these for many years. The following is an except from my old blog that explains when I started. I’m including it in my post today because it brings back very fond memories. It also shows that even the simplest crafts made on a shoestring budget can be very special.

Many, many years ago, when I attended the University of Montevallo, I was in a sorority (go Chi-O). As a gesture of kindness, my pledge class decided to honor each member with a tiny gift from each of us. Since I was living off my limited college budget, I couldn’t spend much. I did want each gift I made to be special, though. There were no scrap booking implements and very limited craft supplies back in the 70’s, so I had to improvise.

I collected toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, and wrapping paper rolls. I cut them to toilet paper roll size, covered them with plain white tissue paper, filled them with bubble gum and Hersey Kisses, and tied each end with curling ribbon. Then I decorated them with those peel and stick stars that teachers would put on your papers back then. Remember those? It brings back piano lesson memories (ugh). I also personalized them with peel and stick gold lettering.

A few years later, I heard of the Christmas cracker, which is a far more sophisticated version of what I had made. Invented in 1846, it makes a popping sound when opened. Despite that remarkable feature, the ones I saw (at Williams-Sonoma, and other such places), contained cheap little prizes, similar to what you would get in a Cracker Jack box. So when I started making them again, I decided to fill them with good candy. I made some for Christmas, and I just made some more for Valentines’ Day. These are easy and inexpensive to make and can be used year-round for all occasions. They don’t make a popping sound, but are still fun to open.

Ready to start? These are the items you will need to make them:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Tissue paper
  • Printed paper (light or heavy stock is best) cut 4″ x 6″
  • White or clear glue
  • Yarn, ribbon, or string to tie ends
  • Good candy (fun size candy bars or Hershey Kisses work well)
Templates for Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

I made these templates years ago. This year I didn’t measure the tissue paper. I just used a whole sheet and trimmed the ends, The overlay dimensions do matter, though. More about that in a sec.

Crinkled tissue paper for Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

I wadded the tissue paper up in a ball and then flattened it back out. I wanted a funky look to go with the vintage overlay paper I had. You don’t have to wrinkle it up, though. Pristine tissue paper looks really good, too.

Gluing the tissue paper for Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

Add a small line of glue on the end of the tissue paper.

Rolling toilet pepper roll onto tissue paper for Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

Lay the toilet paper roll on top of the glued edge of the tissue paper and begin to roll it all the way to the other end,

Rolling toilet pepper roll onto tissue paper for Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

Add a small line of glue the length of the toilet paper roll before you get to the other end.

Rolling toilet pepper roll onto tissue paper for Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

Now you are ready for the overlay!

Overlay paper for Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

I love vintage Valentines. The sheet on the left is actually a photocopy of some Valentine fabric I had a long time ago. Any time I want to cut it, I make a new copy of it on card stock so I’ll always have it. Here is a link to the post I did about it: Paper Made from Fabric.

Overlay paper for Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

You can buy scrapbook paper from the craft store if you’d like to. As you can see, I’ve made these for all occasions. They would also be really cute in an Easter basket.

Overlay paper

Once you’ve cut your overlay, glue it to the tissue paper in the area over the toilet paper roll. I just glue each end, not the whole piece.


For the ties, you can use ribbon, twine, rope, or whatever you’d like. This time I wanted to use something different to go with my wrinkled tissue paper, so I chose this cool yarn.

Tying yarn

I used four 25″ strands to add more dimension.

 Vintage DIY Valentine Crackers

I love how they turned out. The yarn made the bows extra floofy and scruffy, which is exactly what I wanted. I finished them off with little tags I made on Canva.

I hope you try these super cute crackers! They have evolved considerably since my college days at Montevallo.

More Valentine ideas can be found here: Bright Idea for a Quirky Container and DIY Valentine Pop Top Cans.

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